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Psychol Aging. 2006 Mar;21(1):62-73.

Age and sex differences in reaction time in adulthood: results from the United Kingdom Health and Lifestyle Survey.

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Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, Scotland, UK.

Erratum in

  • Psychol Aging. 2009 Mar;24(1):229.


Reaction times (RTs) slow and become more variable with age. Research samples are typically small, biased, and of restricted age range. Consequently, little is known about the precise pattern of change, whereas evidence for sex differences is equivocal. The authors reanalyzed data for 7,130 adult participants in the United Kingdom Health and Lifestyle Survey, originally reported by F. A. Huppert (1987). The authors modeled the age differences in simple and 4-choice reaction time means and variabilities and tested for sex differences. Simple RT shows little slowing until around 50, whereas choice RT slows throughout the adult age range. The aging of choice RT variability is a function of its mean and the error rate. There are significant sex differences, most notably for choice RT variability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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